- Aviation services group Stobart said it may lose a key contract with Irish carrier Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus had informed the company's Stobart Air division that it was not the preferred supplier for a new commercial agreement, which would have commenced in January 2023.

Stobart Air would continue to operate the Aer Lingus franchise until that time.

Stobart said it could exercise a right to an early break clause for a lease agreement of eight ATR aircraft in April 2023 at a cost of $21.2 million, plus finance and maintenance costs.

The company, which recently fully wrote down its investment in Stobart Air, said it was still aiming to exit that business as a soon as practicable.

'The group remains in positive discussions with a number of interested parties and continues to target an exit from Stobart Air before the end of the current financial year,' chief executive Warwick Brady said.

'Whilst a disappointing decision by Aer Lingus, we believe that Stobart Air is a strategic and attractive asset for a potential buyer with number of options open to it in terms of continued operations beyond its current franchise agreement with Aer Lingus.'

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